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Lawmakers seek citizens’ help for legislative ideas

Two state lawmakers are looking to include constituents in the policy-making process in similar, and yet very different, ways. While Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, is holding a contest for constituents to pitch their best ideas for a “There Ought to

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Gov. Jerry Brown signs host of significant legislation

SACRAMENTO – The 2016 legislative season is officially over, with Gov. Jerry Brown having signed 900 bills while vetoing 159 by Friday’s deadline. Some of the recently signed bills are far-reaching and will have a noticeable effect on Californians’ lives. Here’s a

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Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia: Queenmaker, powerbroker

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia is mere months away from assuming the chairmanship of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.  While her ascendancy will need to be formalized with a vote of caucus members after November’s election, the vice chair, which Garcia is, has

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Assemblyman accused of wife beating receives awkward tribute from legislators

Over the last few days of the session, legislators pay tribute for their fellows who will not be in the chamber next year. And while the tributes range in length and tone — one legislator joked (?) about his romantic

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Who will Gov. Brown believe: MADD or DMV?

Who will Gov. Jerry Brown believe: the Mothers Against Drunk Driving or his own Department of Motor Vehicles? That’s what it boils down to when Brown decides whether to sign Senate Bill 1046, a bill by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San

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Farmworker overtime bill to get second chance soon

After a staged, 24-hour hunger strike, proponents of a bill to increase overtime pay for farmworkers announced on Wednesday the once-dead measure will be on the Senate floor next week.  The hunger strike was designed link the legislators’ sacrifice of

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CA Senate panel kills whistleblower protection bill for the third time

For the third straight year, the Senate Appropriations Committee killed a bill on Thursday that would have extended whistleblower protections to legislative staff — a response to the unrelated legal troubles of three senators in 2014.  There are already whistleblower

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Bill removing tampon sales tax advances in Legislature

A bill to eliminate sales tax on feminine hygiene products came one step closer to becoming law on Thursday, ok’d by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Proponents have argued it’s a matter of gender fairness, as these products — including tampons,

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Bill punishing Fentanyl kingpins dies in committee

A bill that would have imposed mandatory sentences on large-scale dealers of a powerful opioid responsible for a rash of deaths and overdoses over the last few years died in committee Thursday. Fentanyl, an anesthetic said to cause a euphoric high

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Controversial requirements dropped from Title IX, religious colleges bill

After weeks of opposition from religious colleges and their supporters, Sen. Ricardo Lara announced he would drop provisions from a bill that would have made it more difficult for faith-based institutions to receive Title IX exemptions. The Bell Gardens Democrat said

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